Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kansas City Royals Season 21 Outlook

Season 20
Won/Loss (place in division) & Playoffs:  79-83 (3rd), missed playoffs
Offense:  833 runs (1st)
Pitching:  5.11 ERA (14th)

Major Changes
FA Departures:  SP Calvin Nielsen, OF Julian Guerrero, SP Sherman Moore,  RP Juan Amaro,  SP Rafael Rijo

FA Signees: 
OF Todd Brooks, SP Mike DeJean, SP Braden Holt, RP Carlos Blanco, SP Jim Thompson, RP Edinson Palacios

Promoted:  DH Joshua Raburn, SP Al Buehrle,  RP Ebeneezer Cashman

Season 21 OutlookGuess which team lead Major Leagues in scoring last year?  Yep, the Royals, with 833.  How do they do it?   A little of everything:  2nd in HR's (226), 3rd in OBP, contributions from a lot of players (6 with 20+ HR's).  Throw in a co-MVP season from Albert Johnson and a second straight career year from 3B Tony Cohen.  Mix well and hope it happens again.

Usually when a team has a 5.11 ERA and loses 4 pitchers to free agency, it's a good thing.  In this case, though, 2 of the departing pitchers (Nielsen and Rijo) were responsible for the team ERA not being 5.75.  KC has retooled aggressively, though.  Stephen Pressley  holds down the #1 starter job (and very well at that).  Mike DeJean moves in at #2 - he's in an all-out war against ratings decline but should be good for one last roundup.  Braden Holt has a 4.02 ERA over a long career, but he's also battling ratings drops.  Jim Thompson and rookie Al Buerhle round out the rotation.

The bullpen is a problem.  Coleman and Blanco have talent but can't throw enough innings to matter.  The rest...well, hope the offense builds up a lot big leads by middle innings.

Pitching is definitely going to be an adventure...if you like 12-10 games, tune in to Royals' broadcasts this year.

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